To ensure you create and maintain a high performing workforce, it is vital that you invest in employee development. Therefore, it is essential that you establish a training budget as part of your usual business expenses.
Unfortunately, in times of economic uncertainty, many businesses see employee development to be an unnecessary expense. However, while cutting your training budget can seem like the logical thing to do, please take a moment to consider the long term implications of doing so, as they can far outweigh the short term costs saved.
Investing in employee development increases engagement, retention rates and productivity; it improves collaboration and customer service, as well as reducing absenteeism. Well trained employees feel valued and appreciated, are more likely to self-manage and stay will a business longer.
Once you have set a training budget the next step is to ensure you make the most of it. But, how do you do that? Here are a few ways you can maximise the potential of your training budget.
Development needs assessment
Before organising any training, or any other development program, it’s essential that you understand the knowledge gaps of your team you’re looking to fill. Identifying the key elements of what the program is intended to achieve is the best way of keeping it as directly targeted as possible. Identify the key knowledge-shortfalls you want to remedy, and plan how best to address them.
Define your goals
Part of making the most of your training budget is evaluating the effectiveness of training programs. However, it is much more difficult to understand whether a training program has been successful if you haven’t defined clear goals at the outset. When you know where you want to get to, it’s much easier to plot the trajectory to reach your destination in the most time and resource-efficient manner possible.
Maximising return on investment
Training and gaining knowledge is important. However, it’s also important to understand how to leverage that knowledge and those new skills going forward. Many businesses provide training to employees without a strategy to ensure the learning is implemented and continually applied. Maximising your return on investment means having a clear plan on how employees can apply the methodology and thought processes they’ve learned through their training to best effect. Knowing this can also make the training plan that much easier to formulate effectively.
Making the most of your training budget means planning your training sessions so that the team is out of action for the minimal amount of time possible. Every minute of downtime costs money, and so should be accounted for as a part of your training budget, as well as the cost of the training itself. To make the most of this time means making sure the training program is as concise and direct as possible.